Busy airports implement smoke-free policies - CBS46 News

Busy airports implement smoke-free policies

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ATLANTA (CBS46) -

More than 20 years have passed since in-flight smoking was banned, but nonsmokers passing through airports across the county are often still subjected to secondhand smoke.

As millions of people are gearing up for their second round of holiday traveling it is inevitable that many will spend an increased amount of time in airports.

Designated smoking zones are offered at several airports but exposure to secondhand smoke still lingers.

“Too many Americans are harmed by cigarette smoking, which is the nation’s leading preventable cause of death and disease,” said Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Brenda Fitzgerald in a press release.

Thirteen of the busiest airports in the United States including Los Angeles International, O’ Hare International and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airports each have indoor smoke-free policies.

Approximately 2.7 billion people pass through 50 of the busiest airports in North America, Europe, and Asia each year.

Of that list of airports only 23 have indoor smoke-free policies.

“Separating smokers from nonsmokers, cleaning the air, and ventilating buildings cannot eliminate exposure of nonsmokers to secondhand smoke,” said Brian King, CDC Deputy Director for Research Translation in the Office on Smoking and Health. “People who spend time in, pass by, clean, or work near these rooms are at risk of exposure to secondhand smoke.”

The CDC estimates 34,000 heart disease and 7,300 lung cancer deaths are caused by secondhand smoke.

In 2012 Salt Lake City International closed its designated smoking rooms, and Denver International plans to close all of its smoking rooms by 2018.

The Surgeon General says there is no risk-free level of secondhand smoke exposure, but with the implementation of smoke-free policies exposure can be decreased.

Here is a list of the busiest US airports with an indoor smoke-free policy:

  • Los Angeles International Airport
  • O’Hare International Airport
  • Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport
  • Seattle-Tacoma International
  • Miami International Airport
  • Charlotte Douglas International Airport
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
  • Orlando International Airport
  • George Bush Intercontinental Airport
  • Newark Liberty International Airport
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport

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